Thursday, April 29, 2010
The American Prospect has a rundown of the immigration reform plan emerging in the U.S. Senate:
Today, Sens. Lindsey Graham and Chuck Schumer released their extended plan for immigration reform. I still need to read over the document more carefully, but just a glance gives you an idea of what they have in mind: Their proposal is 26 pages long, and 17 of those pages detail ways of improving enforcement.
First, the good news. The last three pages include the Holy Grail of immigration-reform advocates: a "path to citizenship" for undocumented immigrants. The proposal would also forbid individual states and municipalities from enacting their own rules on immigration — say goodbye to Arizona's SB 1070.
But these provisions come at a high cost. First, the framework specifies that the enforcement provisions must take place before the legalization process begins. Broadly, the enforcement plan calls for hiring thousands of new border patrol agents, building more Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, and installing "high-tech ground sensors throughout the southern border." (A Bush-era plan to use satellite technology to build a "virtual fence" is abandoned.)